ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports on a Microsoft-sponsored study out showing that the total cost of ownership (TOC) of Windows vs. Linux is roughly the same. Though there are licensing fees up-front with Windows and none with Linux distributions, it apparenly costs more to pay a Linux-skilled technician in many parts of the world. Over time, they say, the financial benefit of not having to pay to register the operating system is lost in maintenance.
While this makes sense, it sounds like the higher pay offered would be an incentive for techs in developing countries to train on Linux, and eventually their service fees would have to go down as competition increases.
Personally, I just hate to think of Third World nations under Microsoft’s thumb. Then again, from what I saw in Brazil, most of the software is pirated anyway and nobody does anything about it.